Is the third reboot of the Spider-Man movie franchise worth checking out, or is the webslinger out of juice? Read on for my review of the newest movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The movie returns Peter Parker to his high school years, and features British actor Tom Holland in the title role. We got a bit of a preview of him as he helps Team Iron Man in that mega-airport battle in Captain America: Civil War, but this is the first full movie featuring Holland as Spider-Man.
The short non-spoiler review is I loved this new look at Spider-Man and Peter Parker. As a high school student, Parker is battling all the issues of being an outsider at school with all of his new-found abilities…and new friends, including Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr)..
He also has a new villian, the Vulture (played brilliantly by Michael Keaton), who turns out to be closer to Parker than he expected.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a classic high school comedy mixed with a thrilling superhero action film, and it works on both counts. Definitely put this on your must-see list for the summer!
Keep scrolling for my in-depth mildly-spoiler review.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens with Parker videoing his assist with the Battle of Berlin, and it’s hilarious seeing that superhero fight from his excited eyes.
But the reality of life hits him soon after, as Tony Stark admonishes Parker to stay the local crime-fighting superhero until he has Happy (Jon Favreau) call for him. He begrudgingly does so, but eagerly waits for word from Happy.
In the meantime, he contends with school life, including the upcoming Homecoming dance, and an academic decathalon. Both feature his crush, Liz (Laura Harrier), his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), and Michelle (Zendaya), a girl that trades sarcastic barbs with him.
After-school, he foils local robberies and other crimes, until he comes up against some criminals with unusual weapons. When both Stark and Happy write off Peter’s concerns, he decides to find out who or what is behind these weapons.
The who is Adrian Toomes (Keaton), a man who became a criminal post-Avengers, utilizing alien tech to make homespun weapons with his crew. His alter-ego, Vulture, runs the show with jet wings and snark.
He also has another connection to Parker, but it’s too delicious to reveal here. Especially since Keaton really milks the dialogue for all it’s worth in the scene where we find out.
There’s an 80s John Hughes quality to the school scenes, and the interactions between the four students. Having the superhero action element on top of that just takes it to another level and it becomes even more fun.
And while Stark makes several appearances (along with cameos from a few other Avengers thanks to a collaboration between Sony and Marvel Studios), this is very much a Spider-Man movie. Stark’s brief appearances in a mentor/pseudo-dad capacity add to the film but don’t overwhelm.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is, in my opinion, the most fun of all the franchise’s films. It’s light-hearted, and it’s funny, but it’s also got a serious villain and real consequences for the character.
Tom Holland gives an awkward naivete to Peter that was missing from the previous incarnations by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. He’s intellectually brilliant but socially inept, and he just really really wants to be an Avenger.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is worth putting at the top of your summer viewing list. You’ll have a great time at the movies!
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Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars
Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr,. Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya. Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier
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